Over recent years the amount of people abusing prescription pain pills such as codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone has grown into epidemic proportions. The reasons why we got here are one thing, but the more important focus is the devastating number of overdoses and how to stop them. Continuing to raise opioid awareness in the communities is a crucial step in prevention. The more people become aware of the clear and present danger of opioids in America, the better chance we have to persevere.
The following statistics are from the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics:
- Just under 50,000 people die from opioid overdoses annually
- Over 10,000,000 people abuse opioids in a year
- 72% of all overdose deaths per year involve opioids
The Added Danger of Fentanyl
The opioid crisis has intensified over the past few years with the introduction of fentanyl. Fentanyl is another prescribed drug used to help patients with severe levels of pain, similar to the way morphine does. What is different about fentanyl is that it’s 50 times stronger than heroin and the prescription pills mentioned above, making it dangerously easy to overdose on. Additionally, drug cartels are mixing it with other drugs since it is so cheap and easy to produce, resulting in accidental overdose by unsuspecting users.
EAC Network Provides Education and Prevention Assistance
Fully aware of the horrific impact that the opioid and fentanyl epidemic is having on the population, EAC Network is doing its part to help our communities in crisis. Our goal is education, prevention, and treatment through the following services:
Fentanyl Community Engagement & Test Strip Distribution Initiative
EAC Network’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Program was awarded the Fentanyl Community Engagement & Test Strip Distribution Grant. These strips test if any drugs also contain fentanyl that could lead to overdose. This is a harm reduction strategy to help save the lives of those at risk. In addition, by providing these strips, you further educate the public and hopefully encourage the first step in someone’s journey toward rehabilitation.
Opioid Overdose Prevention Program
In our continuing efforts to reduce overdoses in our communities, our Opioid Overdose Program provides a solution-focused approach. In addition, EAC Network believes in the benefits of offering no-cost, peer-led overdose education. Through our relationship with the NYC Department of Health, we offer education on the life-saving medicine Naloxine and training to become certified to administer it to someone overdosing.
Brooklyn Collaborative Legal Engagement Assistance Response (CLEAR) Program
EAC Network’s CLEAR program is an alternative to incarceration for low-level offenders facing jail time for drugs instead of treatment. Too often, these individuals wind up in jail instead of seeking or receiving treatment for their substance abuse issues, leading them down this path in the first place.
If the individuals choose to participate and they fully engage in the recommended treatment plan, the District Attorney will drop the charges.
Opioid Awareness: Necessary for Community Resilience
Unfortunately, entire communities are affected by the opioid crisis. Some have a loved one or are suffering from addiction themselves. There are also safety concerns that the presence of drugs bring to a neighborhood. The hope is that opioid awareness and EAC Network’s programs will bring hope to communities and lead to prevention, treatment, and lives saved throughout them.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse, reach out to EAC Network, and we will help put you in touch with or provide you with information and services.
Watch our recent “More to Do ” podcast, where we talk about the impact the opioid epidemic is having on our community.